THE EFFECTS OF GOSPEL AND SECULAR MUSIC ON THE CHRISTIAN
v Meaning of Gospel and Secular music
v 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, 1 John 2:15-18
v Has song any power or influence?
ü Using music to teach children
v Can one listen to beat (rhythm) of a song and not be influenced by the words?
v Do you have a rhythm or beat for gospel music?
v Can a listen to worldly music or secular music? 1 Corinthians10:23, Romans 12:1-2
v What about married couples listening to ‘cools’ or ‘love songs’
v Share experience: gospel and secular music
ü Darlene Zschech and Celine Dion
ü Don Moen and Westlife/ Sarkodie
v When is gospel music played on the radio?
v The artist/ musician
ü Beliefs and values
ü Dressing and dancing
ü Wearing of earrings, platting of hair- spirit of rebellion
v In all: the word, Holy Spirit and prayer. Heb 5:13-14, 1 John 2:27
I would attempt to define what a ‘gospel’ song is. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is clearly defined by Paul 1 Cor. 15:1-4. Moreover brethren, I declare unto you the GOSPEL which I preached unto you, which also you have received, and in which you stand; by which also you are SAVED, if you keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that CHRIST DIED for OUR SINS according to the SCRIPTURES; And that he was BURIED, and He ROSE AGAIN the third day according to the SCRIPTURES.”
From this we know that the GOSPEL is about the death of Jesus Christ, His resurrection and Salvation He brought to man. And that we believe this because it is in the Scriptures which are (is) the inerrant and inspired word(s) of God. Gospel simply means “the good news” Therefore, a song that is considered as a gospel song should directly or indirectly affirm this scripture and lead others to Christ.
If I were to go strictly by the interpretation of this scriptures, then most of the songs we termed gospel songs are really not. However, though every scripture has only one interpretation, it can have various applications hence we can apply the meaning of the word gospel with regards to songs. If the gospel is about Jesus then any song that say something about Jesus may be considered as a gospel song. This may include His Lordship, as a Messiah, our Peace, Provider, Hope, Comforter, Ruler, King and Judge. We have to praise, worship and thank Him for Who He is; What He has done and will do.
Let me also attempt to explain what a secular music is. Secularism, which often comes from the word secular, in philosophy and politics means rejection of religious and sacred forms and practices in favor of rational assessment , decision-making and civil institutions of government. Hence a song can be considered as a secular if it does not regard God and for that matter what Christianity teaches. The rejection may include the Lordship of Jesus Christ and Christian moral values (including certain cultural values which Christianity sees as helpful and affirms).
In this vane we have to take a lot of factors into consideration before deciding on which song is gospel and which one is secular. However, I believe that the average Christian has a general understanding of what a gospel song as well as what a secular song is. Well all can keep to general understanding and explanation I have given as we continue to read and discuss. By the help of the Holy Spirit things would be made clear to us at the end. I would rather encourage those who sing gospel songs to study the word of God and spend time to pray. They should surrender totally to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the leading of the Holy Spirit so that their songs would be inspired and filled with power. Their main goal should not be money but rather praising and worshipping God through songs.
What makes secular music inimical to the Christian and society as whole is not only in the name secular or the fact that it does not specifically mention the name of God or Christ. The problem is in the words and the message they convey. Some of these messages are: lust under the guise of love songs, boastings, pride, strife, insults, sex appeals, materialism, focus on self instead of God, revenge and retaliation instead of forgiveness and reconciliation. These are portrayed through the words, dressing and dances. Through some secular songs, love has been reduced to sex and the message they carry is that “if you truly love me, you will show it by allowing me to have sex with you. It is unfortunate that this has influenced most of the youth today who engage in sex or sexual intimacies to prove their love to others. It would really help us if we go back to find out more facts about songs and music from the Bible.
I believe that Satan knows more about songs, its power and influence than any human being. He is therefore using secular music in a cunning and subtle way to lead many hearts away from God thereby plunging them into destruction.
In Matt. 14, John the Baptist was beheaded after a dance put up by Herodias daughter. What type of music do you think was being played? Do you think this thing would have happened if they were praising or singing spiritual songs unto God? At the party, the songs, dances and fun had nothing about God (love, mercy, forgiveness, humility) but rather pushed Herod to display his wealth and power as a king. Matt. 14:1-12. In 1 Samuel 16, David plays his harp “ And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul that David took the harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well and the evil spirit departed from him. Vs 23. The music made by David was filled with God’s anointing and power. It refreshed the soul and spirit of Saul, healed him and drove away the evil spirit which haunted him.
In 2 Kings, Elisha prophesied after an anointing-filled song was played. “ But now bring me a minstrel. And it came to pass, when the minstrel played, that the hand of the Lord came upon him. 2 Kings 3:15.
I personally experience this in my walk with God. I most often burst into prayer and speaking in tongues anytime I listen to inspiring and biblical gospel songs. I am able to pray for longer hours when I sing or listen to gospel songs whilst praying. I believe thousands of Christian have experienced and are still experiencing this! The spiritual truth behind secular music is revealed here. While gospel and spiritual songs drive away evil spirits, refresh the and makes God’s word more effective; secular music exposes us to evil spirit, feeds the flesh, depresses the soul and makes us less receptive to God’s word.
It is true that some secular songs “may be educative”, however, everything one needs through music can be obtained through gospel songs, Christian literatures and most importantly God’s word. Most secular music if not all are baits from the devil to trap both Christians and unbelievers. If you want to listen to love songs you have to read Songs of Songs, listen to music by Ray Boltz, Lenny leBlanc, Cece Winans, Sacred love songs by Bishop T.D. Jakes etc.
It has to be said that true love can flow from the heart which has been renewed and refined by Christ through His word and Spirit. 1 John 4:8; Gal. 5:22
The Bible tells us that God inhabits the praise of His people, and with regards to songs, we praise and worship God through gospel music only. The tangible presence of God which we experience when we sing to Him gives us pleasure, joy and comfort. The difference between gospel music and even “ the educative secular music” is too wide to be compared.
The Bible says “It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man for a man to hear song of fools” Eccl. 7:5. Speaking to your selves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” Ephesians. 5:19
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- By: Samuel Sarkodie Addo